People’s revolution

Renowned for paying homage to Glasgow’s workers, the People’s Palace is undergoing its own revolution, as Paul Welsh discovers.

Glasgow has its rough spots. and the People‘s l’alace was always one of them. Even Mark O’Neill. senior history curator for Glasgow Museums. is frank enough to describe its permanent collection as pretty ‘run down and beat up‘ in places. and. yes. some of the museum‘s 30-year—old exhibits are definitely showing their age.

A complete refurbislmient of the building is underway. however. and the top floor revatnped at a cost of half a million pounds has recently reopened in the run-up to this much-loved institution’s centenary celebrations in l‘)‘)8. The contrast between the two versions of Glasgow‘s story currently co-habiting the Palace could not be greater.

‘This is an ambitious exhibition‘. declares O'Neill. ‘We have tried to show the main forces that have shaped Glasgow and the new floor tells the city's basic story —- the politics.

industry. and lifestyles of the people who have made it, The new gallery space is meant to be as intense as living in the city.‘

And the curators inst about manage it. Downstairs. the ‘old‘ I’eoplc's Palace is a slightly threadbare coffee morning in liearsden —- neat and tidy. but not an awful lot going on -- upstairs it's Argyle Street on ('hristmas live in three new themed rooms entitled Visions Of The ("My \\'orking City and Housing.

lie prepared for a full-scale sensory assault lit to be called a history of Glasgow covering 250 years of the city‘s dynamic story. The exhibition melds the passage of time with a plethora of indi\ idual. often recorded. voices. and v. ith a large collection of

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People's Palace: rethinking history

memorabilia. manages to retain the treasure trove feel the museum is famous for. Interactive computer technology. projections and films compete to emphasise the point that Glasgow is a vibrant, socially rich and complex place to be.

‘Muscums are about the future. not the past.' continues ()‘Neill philosophically. ‘l’eople can come to the People‘s Palace to find out what they \\ ant to take with them into the future. and what they want to reiect.‘ \Vhether that should include liilly Connolly's Big Banana l’eet is a matter for serious environmental debate.

The People 's l’tl/(lt‘e is ()II Glasgow Green. open Mon «Stir Matti-51ml; Sim Ham-5pm.


Snapshotof Scotland’s best

Glasgow is again hosting its annual showcase for Scottish art - the 134th exhibition by the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (RGI) is at the city’s McLellan Galleries.

Launched in 1861 by a cross-section of artists and businessmen, the RGI was intended to support and promote contemporary art in Scotland. The current show, with its associated educational events, continues that tradition. An open invitation show with work selected by a panel of appointed artists, the exhibition involves 318 works - most of them for sale. All the selected artists were eligible for winning some of the £14,000 prize money up for grabs. 0f the sixteen winners, eight are either students studying at art school in Scotland or recent graduates.

The maiority of the works on display are paintings, with several sculptural pieces - the traditional genres of fine art feature prominently, with landscapes, still lifes, portraits, figurative studies and abstracts extensively represented- In a

Alberto Morrocco’s Woman With Cockerel:

part of the RGI’s survey of contemporary Scottish art

refreshing mix, work by established artists such as Elizabeth Blackadder, William Crosbie, Mary Armour and George Wyllie, are shown alongside that of lesser known artists, many of them students. The best of this work is the winner of the £1000 Arthur Andersen Prize, 0liver Marsden’s painting Untitled - a pale blue image almost like an array of water droplets.

Most of the exhibited work has its roots in periods of art history before the 19605 - there are no piles of

bricks here. Underpinning the show is

an exploration of what constitutes

artwork and how an artist operates. Like most survey shows, this one makes no attempt to claim itself as the definitive version of contemporary Scottish art, rather acknowledging that it is a partial, if enlightening, view of the scene. (John Beagles)

The RGI’s 134th Annual Exhibition is at the Mole/Ian Galleries, Glasgow until 3 Dec.



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Twins: Jutta Getr’s Image expores the twin

as a metaphor for photography Glasgow‘s reputation for fostering cultural links with Europe will be extended this month when seven (,‘terman artists bring their work to Glasgow School of Art for the first part of an exciting exchange programme entitled lier/inflilusyow (ilusgow/lier/l/t. The exhibition displays a wide range of artistic styles including installation, painting and photography. the common factor being that the work is by Germany's best young artists. Graduates of Berlin's llochscule der Kiittsle, the seven are part of a select group of twenty artists patronised by the prestigious Karl- llofer Society, which provides them with resources and facilities.

Glasgow is one of only a handful of maior cities taking part in the Karl- llofer Society's International Exchange I’rog‘u'amme. which exhibition organiser K..thj. L‘lzanilm's sees as a tribute to the .-\rt School and the city‘s reputation. "l‘heir decision to launch their young artists here is a recognition ofGlasgow as a centre for contemporary an.‘ she says. noting that the two cities are already linked to an extent by their positive attitude towards art. ‘Art is seen as very important in the cultural image of lierlin; it has always been part of Berlin’s identity. and, ol'course. that is what Glasgow as a city is trying to achieve.‘

The potential gains front the exhibition for the students ofGlasgow School of Art are also central to the project. ‘It's very stimulating for our students to come and see the work. and they is ill benefit from the relationship that we‘re building between the two cities in very real ways. The first group that go to Berlin next year will be part of a wonderful exhibition [in the Westbahnhof] where they'll be launched in a way that sometimes it's not possible for tis to do with our resources.‘

\liguel Rothschild. whose installation piece ‘()n The lnaccessability Of Love' is one of the most interesting works on show, also sees benefits in the exchange for individual artists and for the two cities. ‘I have learned so much about Glasgow on my short visit.‘ he says. ‘lt is very much like Berlin. it is full ofenergy. I like to see what people from other places think about my work. and it will be great next year to see what Glasgow artists bring to Berlin.‘ (Ian Smith)

Ber/{II/(i/usguti' (Ilusgmtflier/in is at the (Ilasgmr Se/Hm/ rgfxll'l (llllll 24 N01:

The List l7-.‘s() Nov l‘)‘)5 51